Hunting groups

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Kwaynem, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Or ever made a standing shot. Fired at a moving target. Shot squirrels or rabbits with pellet guns or .22’s, used Grandpaws rifle, hunted muzzle loader or bow seasons...

    Sometimes the trade off one makes for ultimate accuracy could exacerbate human error under hunting conditions. I have benchrest rifles that shoot small single hole groups, wouldn’t ever think about taking them hunting. Many situations one can come across hunting where an old iron sighted “pie plate” 30-30 would be far superior.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
  2. Dale Alan

    Dale Alan Member

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    I totally disagree . I can do anything with an accurate HUNTING gun that a person shooting 8 point pie plates can....and much more accurately. And if I get the bench guns out I can put one in their ear.
    This is my typical hunting are , would be difficult to spot a pie plate in the dark thick stuff with iron sights...and you sure want an accurate rifle if the mossy buck presents himself out in the open crossing a beaver dam 100 yards off. sodom.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
  3. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Doesn’t sound like you have ever attempted a walking hunt, in the rain, with a 16lb, 2oz trigger pull, no safety, with a 45x optic benchrest gun. :)

    I suppose there are lots of people that can shoot tiny groups at 100 yards that also manage to miss the relatively speaking, extremely large window a chronograph has at just a few feet. “Hunting” could be either, in an instant. Ever wonder how many dangerous game double rifles shoot MOA groups or why they are chosen over more accurate rifles?
     
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  4. Dale Alan

    Dale Alan Member

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    You assume too much.
     
  5. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I am always up for a good story. :)
     
  6. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    As much as I like load development, for a hunting gun I would rather spend my time shooting from positions. For me the accuracy required depends on the rifle and the conditions/terrain.

    For instance, I won't go out to western KS with a rifle that's not at least 1MOA, usually much better due to the terrain and the distances encountered. East side of KS I'm perfectly fine with 1.5-2 MOA as a long shot from my stands is a little over 100yds. A lot of rife/cartridge combinations that are fantastic for woods/brush use, just aren't superb in the MOA department.

    Also based on some of the "longest shots taken on game" threads we've had here the average run of the mill factory rifle shooting factory ammo in about sub 2MOA will suffice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
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  7. Dale Alan

    Dale Alan Member

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    I noticed.
     
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I guess so, for example I have one friend that doesn’t even shoot his hunting rifle for groups. He only shoots it for cold bore first shot placement. Seems to work every year, for him.
     
  9. EricBu

    EricBu Member

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    I've killed more deer with a lever 30-30 than any other rifle I own......it's barely minute of pie plate on a good day. More important than how tight your rifle groups from the bench is how well you can snap shoot it standing, or kneeling, or off a tree limb, or off sticks in rain, wind, and while freezing your ass off. If you really want to see what you and your rifle can do, jog or speed walk a hundred yards, then take 3 snap shots kneeling at a 50 yard target........the results will surprise you if you've never done that before. Of course, your conditions matter too. If you have the luxury of a stand over a wide open field, or a bait patch, and can take your time to pick a buck and make a 500 yard shot from a rest, then that's what your rifle needs to do. If you're hunting in scrub juniper and pine and walking all day for a 50 yard shot, then that's what you and your rifle need to be able to do.
     
  10. lightman

    lightman Member

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    The need has always decided my accuracy requirements. If I'm shooting at longer ranges I want better than one inch. You won't hit many Prairie Dogs at 400 yards with a 1-1/4 inch rifle. But it has served me well for Deer at closer ranges.

    My custom built lightweight deer rifle shoots around 1-1/4 inches. Sometimes it will hold 3 shots around an inch. I've killed dozens of deer with it in several States and Canada. At ranges from 40 yards to a little under 300 yards. I would prefer better accuracy, especially for those 300 yard shots. Its just too lite to shoot well. The most important part is that the first cold bore shot is always in the same place. Even when I have to take it out of the stock for cleaning.

    Now that I can't walk and stalk anymore I'm building a heavier rifle that I expect to shoot much better than an inch.
     
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  11. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    Lot of variables to consider like shooting distance, rifle support options (shooting sticks, stand rest) walking or sitting and weather. If your a tree stand Hunter only and shooting no more than 100 yards then sure, pie plate accuracy is fine. If your humping ridges in Arizona looking for mules 300-400 yards away then accuracy (and weather) makes your pie plate accuracy more like side of barn hitting accuracy.

    I prefer 1” accuracy from my potential long range shooters (30-06, .243, .300 Win Mag) and 2” for thick foliage short range (under 100 yds) rifles like 45-70, .50 Beowulf, 30-30.
     
  12. WVRJ

    WVRJ Member

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    My 2 favorite deer rifles are very different,and I have very different expectations for them.The rifle I use when I'm in the woods is a custom Remington M7 in 308 with a 20 inch barrel.It shoots about an inch and a half for 3 rounds at 100 yards,which is plenty good for what I want it to do.The other one is a 280 Improved and it's usually under half an inch for 5 shots at 100 yards.That rifle is the one I use the most because my back won't let me walk in the woods as much,so I use the 280 to watch in the open country and against the mountainsides where shots can exceed 500 yards.I think first shot placement is of the utmost importance and I've found that first cold bore shot to hit much closer to POA if the barrel is clean.Powder residue in a barrel oxidizes and turns chalky and creates more drag,which causes the first round out of a cold,fouled bore to not hit where it should.
     
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  13. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    I have a few guns that I settled for "good enough" groups because they are hard on barrels. Burn the barrel chasing a group and you re-barrel and start over. Lol.

    Where I hunt there are no opportunity for shots over 3-400 yards. Id say 99% are between 75-150. Too many humps/valleys/hills/trees.

    I have a patriot in 300 mag I hunt with most of the time. Its not an MOA shooter on a good day. Yet I haven't passed up nor wounded a deer yet. It's light.... It's short....and if it gets thumped....I don't care.
     
  14. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    I was target shooting my 338 lapua 110 BAT. My dad came along hunting for a cow up in our land. He kept saying "just over that next ridge". I carried that 20lb rifle all day. No fun.

    Especially that gun. No slick spots on it with that ugly chassis savage stuck on it. Rails all over. Every direction.
     
  15. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Yeah, sounds like my buddies that want to shoot a pig with my 50 BMG until they start thinking about hauling around a 40lb rifle they have never shot offhand.
     
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  16. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    I have to remind myself to manage my expectation when setting up at the shooting bench to lest a load for a hunting rifle. I still put the effort into tuning a load to get the most accuracy I can out of it, but it's overkill and it will never match my target rifles. I just do it because I enjoy the process.
     
  17. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Maybe it's the rounds they're using? Most of my hunting is with a .35Rem, .44Magnum, .357Magnum or .30-06. The .44 and .357 are used at the shortest ranges - point-blank - walking the trails looking for signs of pigs rooting up around pastures (not my land). Sometimes I'll run across a troupe and take out the biggest boar; the meat gets donated to a worthy cause in the form of sausage. Them old boar hogs are about as tough as iron ore.

    The .35Rem is my go-to for anything that walks on four paws in Florida. I have several rifles - bolt, lever, semi-auto - and a Super-14 T/C Contender barrel. Under 50 yards out to just at 100 it's a great brush round. I prefer the 180 and 200 gr. weights and will shoot hardened lead with gas checks, jacketed, and even straight Linotype out of the Remington 600 bolt gun and T/C but the Marlin 336 and Remington 81 are a little fussier about preferring jacketed. Sierra's 200gr. JSP is a dandy do-anything bullet over 38gr. of IMR 4064. I have no idea what kinds of "groups" I get from my lever and bolt rifles in .35Rem. Don't care, really. I know where they hit, first-shot, cold barrel, every time the trigger's pulled. For anything over 100 yards, I use a .30-06. I have lots of loads and bullets I've tried and know will work. Nothing lighter than 150gr. That cartridge in rifles I've shot for decades with fast, heavy loads, I know if I put a bullet in a deer or pig, or anything else, it will drop and won't get up.

    I don't hunt anything bigger than squirrel with guns whose caliber starts with a "2". Now, I will say, for varmints and vermin and critters I'm not going to eat, .22's are fine. I'll even use a .223Rem on pigs if it's all I've got handy. But, that's just me. Best advice I can give anybody is, don't do what I do. Just because it works for me don't mean it'll work for you. ;)
     
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  18. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    :eek::confused::(
    No offense but, you have some strange friends.
     
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  19. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I have to wonder how many hunters these days have taught themselves point-shooting. I rarely use the sights when hunting. I bring the rifle or handgun up to point and fire in one motion. I'm not a real skilled shooter or anything. Put me on a bench with a scoped frazzle-dazzle million$ rifle and I'll be lucky to hit the ground. Hand me a Marlin .35Rem or .30WCF and point me at a troupe of pigs and I'll drop two in two shots before the pups have scattered. It's not magic. Been doing it since I was 8 or 9. It took years of practice. Look at the animal and shoot it where it counts. Forget everything else.
     
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  20. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Who doesn't?
     
  21. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    You get no argument from me. When we were kids I even witnessed fish being caught using buggers as bait, followed by nothing but a bare hook. An odd lot for sure....

    FWIW some people think I am weird for killing them with a .22lr. I guess some see “dead” in different degrees of...deadness?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
  22. Kwaynem

    Kwaynem Member

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    I can’t tell my grandson that or he will try it next time he goes fishing lol
     
  23. BWS

    BWS Member

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    I guess it depends on what we're hunting?

    To really poof a crow @150-200 I'm looking for some real usable accuracy. A deer at those ranges,not so much.

    First round cold bore repeatability..... day in,day out testing is what my serious killing rigs do well. 3 round mag dumps(bolt action) are also a good check on the "whole". Another is scope dialing repeatability.

    But I do understand the OP,and more or less agree. Riflecraft in the gaming fields sees "pure accuracy" as only one component. Lots more to it than that.
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    The OP asked if ever, not always, different applications require different levels of accuracy.

    My .308 hunting rifle I love won’t shoot under 1 MOA (barrel issue), but in the woods in Alabama, it never needed to.

    My .222 Mag I used to shoot crows etc with was another matter, and it would do 1/4 MOA on a good day.
     
  25. PonyKiller

    PonyKiller Member

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    Managing expectations is an excellent point, my "hunting" rifles all have low power scopes or iron sights. Field accuracy and bench accuracy are different.
    A hunting rifle is a tool who's purpose is to deliver a killing blow.
    A target rifles is a tool who's purpose is deliver tight groups. Maybe win competitions.
     
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